Just a quickie for you guys this time, but the thought struck me in the shower this morning (where I do much of my best work): are many of us putting the proverbial cart before the metaphorical horse when it comes to planning and constructing social media campaigns? Shouldn’t we be focused on creating great campaigns that incorporate social media, instead? In other words, are we focusing too much on the tools, and not the desired goal?
Walk with me here. Let’s experiment by substituting the word “Telephone” for “Social Media” in a pretty common phrase that’s probably tossed around by CMO’s these days:
“Guys, we need to put together a [Telephone] strategy ASAP. [Telephones] are the latest growing trend among consumers, so we need to create a cohesive brand presence on the latest [Telephone] platforms, and use [Telephones] to drive customer acquisition.”
A tad myopic, no? But there’s not much that makes telephones so radically different from social media – after all, both technologies enable you to reach out and instantly connect with another human being. But if you look at how telephones are used in marketing, you’ll see that campaigns merely incorporate phone numbers, but aren’t built entirely around them, so why are so many focused on trying to do it with social media? It’d be a brave creative director who unveils the new campaign slogan “Now you can reach us by phone!” to their client these days; for many consumers, this type of message is met with a resounding “So what?”, regardless of the technology in question – unless you’re Big Bear Mountain Resorts, that is…
“I’m tooting right now…” – Big Bear Mountain Resorts radio spot
Social media for its own sake is missing the point. The best campaigns are always the ones that tell a compelling story, or resonate with the trials, tribulations and joys of your customers, regardless of technology. The future of marketing belongs to the storytellers, and always will.